Step 1: Choosing a Venue
We actually tied the knot at the church gmjhowe and I have been attending for many years, so that wasn't hard to organise.
However for the reception, we wanted to show where we live off to its best (Derbyshire UK) So we wanted a country house, but with out the hefty price!! We found this beautiful place in the middle of the Peak District National Park, called Cressbrook hall situated near Monsal head. It is in a breathtaking valley, and really is in the countryside!
Bobby (the manager) gave us a good deal, as we didnt have a sit down meal as such (youll see later what we did), and also as we were married in November (out of season for most weddings), she gave us a good discount!
Step 2: Wedding Stationary
The theme is continued in the actual invites, with different coloured eyelets (all in blues and greens) holding the 3 sheets of paper/card together and tied with a bow. We also found some butterfly hole punches of varying sizes, so used this as a motif to show off the layers.
These took quite some time (as you can imagine) so for the order of service, we decided to be plain and simple, and just use modified graphics form the save the date, and print a small butterfly, instead of punching one.
Step 3: Choosing a dress
So I went shopping. And here's my advice... Firstly try everything on!! I went with preconcieved ideas about what I thought would suit me, and I ended up with a dress that was completely different to what I had imagined.
The ladies in the store were very nice and not pushy, but they did know what they were talking about. My next piece of advice is to always look on the sale rail. Most of the dresses season to season are very similar in shape and fabric, they just change the beading etc. So I got mine with 40% off, which some how makes it feel better when spending that kind of money. I certainly wouldn't have bought it full price. Beacuse I looked at the sale rail, I managed to get a pure silk dress, with lots of detail.
The next thing is to think about your figure. You need to show case the best parts of it - which for me I think is my waist. So the dress I picked is a fishtail style, with almost a fifties feel. You need to make sure you are comfy with how you feel and look, so go back more than once to try it on and think about it!
Step 4: Transportation
Step 5: Cake
After the service we had refreshments for the guests (as it was a lunchtime wedding) so we had cake here too. Famliy friends, Jakes mum and my mum made between them around 300 servings of cake to go with cups of tea!
Step 6: Bridesmaids Dresses
As my bridesmaids were all different shapes and sizes, I thought it would be stupid to get them all in the same style dress. I really wanted them to feel that they could wear their dress again to a party or something, so together we picked patterns that best suited them. The only thing that was the same was the hem height so they matched.
They went together surprisingly well. Proper raw silk is a dream to work with their oufits were completed with ice blue strappy heels with diamentes on the straps ( a steal at £8 a pair!) and silvery blue wraps (3 for £10)
Step 7: Jewellery and Tiaras
I originally bought all the necklaces (including mine which was a white version), because I like the colour of the beads, but I decided I didn't like the design so I tore them apart and made them up again, and believe me this design is much more natural looking!! I wanted all the necklaces and my tiara to have a very organic/vine theme. So I read up some articles and taught myself to bead with wire.
As for my hair, I decided I didn't want a veil (it just killed the dress) so my hair dresser suggested these Swarovski hair jewels which thread on to your hair, and stay on simply with friction!! They are genius!! I had 24 in my hair in clear, AB and blue. And they sparkled when ever you move. Plus whatsmore they are reusable!! (unlike a veil!)
Step 8: Bag and Shrug
So I bought some ivory fabric and made a clutch bag and a matching shrug. The bag was very simple, I just used an old sparkly hair slide (which just happened to have a butterfly on it!) to make it a bit more interesting!
The shrug is an interesting deign however. It's just a tube of fabric, which is then gathered at the ends and sewn down to itself at an angle. The result is 2 ruched arm holes. When you put it on it keeps your arms and back warm, but still shows off the front of your dress. I had the idea from a similar one on the internet which I was prepared to buy, but retailing at £100 each I was put off. So instead I spent £10 on material and achieved the same result.
Step 9: Waistcoats and ties
Step 10: Flowers
Me and my mum made the bouquets, which were all artifical. It was easier to get them perfect with silk flowers, and we went with the supernatural look, by adding in blue roses. We also used diamente pins and sprigs in diifferent colours to tone in with the Bridesmiads fabric. My bouquet was naturally a little larger, and centred with a large lacey white rose. We bound all the bouquets using the same teal and organza ribbons as before, leaving bits to trail decoratively. We also found some teal/peacock blue feathers which we incoporated. Putting the flowers togther was fairly simple, we just kept to the magic numbers of 1, 3, 5 and 7. bunches in these numbers, and you can't really go wrong.
Mum then made the corsages and button holes. There is a picture of my Grandma wearing one of the ladies' corsages, and then a close up of Jake's button hole.
Step 11: Table decorations
We spotted the stripey and beaded blue/green lanterns on offer at the local supermarket. Then, returning to 3 as a magic number, we decided to have groups of 3 by having homemade decorated jam jars as lanterns. Jake's mum made these - and she did a really good job! She hand painted them with butterlies, the date and our names. She made the handles by wrapping wire round the handle of a wooden spoon, and then decorated these with more butterflies and fish in garlands. We then used the punch waste from making our invitations to use as table confetti.
Step 12: PORK
Oh my goodness, I have never tasted pork so good! Jake loved it as you can imagine! Served up with hot mulled wine, and either profiteroles with hot choc sauce, or sticky toffee pudding, it was a veritable feast!
Step 13: Photography
We were lucky. Abi is the cousin of one of good friends. She works for a charity during the week, but as part of her degree she studied Photography. So she does wedding photography on the side (her degree was in image and photography or something...) She took heaps of photos, and gave us the copyright, without having to purchase an expensive and unwanted formal wedding album. She was a star as well, very helpful and smiley person!
Step 14: Music
At the reception we had an acoustic father-daugther duo called "Keeping Up With The Joneses". The daughter Ffion actually works with my brother, and is a preforming arts teacher. And she has the best voice I've ever heard! They write their own music, along the lines of american blues. But they also take popular music and acoustic-it. So we had Super Massive Black Hole, Summer of 69, Crazy Little thing called love etc....Thanks to them aswell.
In between sets we had the good old iPod with a play list of mine and Jake's favorite songs.
As I did not get to make a speech (booo hoo!), and I am somewhat musical, I sang two songs to surprise Jake! hehe ( says he wasn't crying, but the proof is in the photo!)
Step 15: Fireworks
Step 16: Guest Book
This book has two uses, instead of the traditional wedding album, we always wanted to have a scrap book - hence the reason we wanted a photographer who would give us the copyright to our pics. So he made the book so it can be taken apart - the pages and covers are held together with bolts, so we can reorder the messages people left us, and then disperse them in between photos and other momentos. The window in the front currently says "guest book", but will be swapped for a photo when it is a scrap book.
Step 17: Favours
So heres a cheesey idea for wedding favours... The Happiness Kit! We found this idea on the web, and thought it was a bit more interesting than your standard sugar coated almonds! Jake printed off the text, using our logo and the same silvery paper we used for the invites. The text reads....
Eraser: To make mistakes disappear
A Rubber Band: To stretch yourself to the limits
A Coin: So you can never say you have no money
String: To tie things together when they fall apart
A Button: To press in case of panic
Marbles: Incase you lose yours
A Chocolate: To remind you of the finer things in life.
We got all these items in blue colours (mainly from ebay), and then stuffed them in silver organza bags. I then decorated a basket with the remaining trimmings I had, to hold the favours.